Saturday, May 24, 2008


(Young women roofing the hotel of the Llano del Rio Cooperative Colony, Antelope Valley, California, circa 1914)

Here's another slightly out of sequence segment of my novel-in-progress, Ginny Bates. Following my last post 19 May, the action would include Myra seeing Nancy and having a talk with Chris. The following section takes place two days after that, but before she and Myra go to Olympia to visit Gillam and Carly.

If you are already a familiar reader, begin below. If you need background, check the links in the sidebar on the right, fifth item down, to get caught up.

May 2012

When Myra got up, Ginny was in the kitchen pulling out a first batch of yogurt. A jug of cold hibiscus tea was leaving puddles on a plate in the middle of the dining table, and Myra sat down on her chair, poured a glass, and looked out at the drenching rain blearily. She had been up until 2:00 trying to perfect a poem for a themed anthology, and this morning she felt like she had butchered it beyond salvation. She wasn't going to try re-reading it until she wasn't so sour.

Ginny carried over a bowl of warm yogurt and chilled fruit salad, along with an oval-shaped pancake six inches in diameter. When Ginny made pancakes, they tended to come out oval.

"What's this batter?" asked Myra, assembling a stack of fruit and yogurt on top of the cakes.

"Whole wheat, buckwheat, wheat germ, Hain's version of grapenuts, and chopped walnuts" said Ginny. Her experiments were usually bulky but worked, somehow. After a bite, Myra decided not to ask for syrup; these would do. After another bite, Myra noticed that Ginny had on clothes.

Overalls, to be exact. A pair of white cotton ones that long ago she had dyed deep brown and which were now faded to a soft color Myra thought might be called sienna. The ass and belly of the garment had assumed Ginny's shape. The legs were too long and her heel was treading on the back cuff, the front part of the leg coming down the instep of her bare feet.

She had on a shirt, too, a men's sleeveless undergarment she had dyed teal. Ginny loved to dye things. The two hues, as usual, were having an interesting conversation with each other. Ginny's hair, shot through with grey that she complained about because it was coarser than her soft mahogany had been, was in a fresh cut which showed the new white streak at her right forehead even more clearly. As she prepared a second batch of yogurt to sit in the warm oven, she was singing one of the cuts from the album Myra had been playing last night:

Each of us has a set of rules that she would live by
That she has gathered as a child, and still along the way
Each lesson, each vision, leaves buried in our hearts and minds
Undiscovered obstacles to freedom
That she must cast away, cast away...

Ginny trailed off and said "Next time you go to Pike, if it's before I do, we're out of turbinado."

Myra tried to puzzle out the train of thought that would have taken Ginny from casting away to turbinado sugar. She was wolfing her breakfast -- the pancake was extremely satisfying, actually -- and her sense of not having enough rest was lifting, as it tended to do once she was fully awake. If Ginny had not been an easy riser, if they'd not had a nanny, Myra would have growled at her children each morning, she thought with a pang of guilt.

When Myra was done, she rinsed her dishes and put them in the sink. Ginny was back in her studio, standing with one hip jutted out to the side, staring at something through the glass wall. Myra walked toward her and said "What do you see?"

"It's been years since the last time we -- well, you, actually -- washed these windows. I think that's going to be my morning project" said Ginny.

Myra moved close behind her and said "You'll ask me if you need a spotter on the stepladder, yes?"

Ginny leaned against her lightly and said "Mm-hm." The smell of her hair and her sudden warmth in Myra's orbit moved Myra forward another fraction. She slid her hands inside Ginny's overalls, unbuttoned already at the sides, and cupped Ginny's stomach in her palms. Since Gillam's birth, Ginny had been a bit pudding-y in the abdomen, with silky stretch marks. Myra adored the feel of her -- what was that line, from Ferron, maybe? Something about a belly and a bowl?

Ginny turned her head so she could partially eye Myra and said "Are you helping me get flexible for my imminent physical exertion?" There was humor and invitation in her voice.

Myra realized they had not made love since before her flight to Anacortes. She wet her lips and slightly pushed her mouth against Ginny's ear, the very tip of her tongue protruding enough to brush against the inner curves. Ginny liked subtlety -- until the point when she opened the floodgates.

Ginny crowed, there was no other word for it, and moved to turn around in Myra's arms, but Myra clamped her forearms tight and resisted Ginny facing her. She rubbed the flat of her nose against Ginny's downy hair before her ears, and bent down a little at the knees to place each of her feet flat on the floor inside of Ginny's. As Ginny swallowed audibly and pushed back even more against her, Myra slid her hands up to Ginny's breasts, which were now rimpled like orange skin, her nipples swollen and, she knew without looking, a dark maroon.

Myra talked during sex, a stream of consciousness that eventually tapered to two or three words. If she didn't, Ginny prompted her. Myra began saying "Oh, my delicious Ginny, the sounds that come out of you, I never hear them any other time. I like to think I'm the only woman on the planet who's ever heard the kind of sighs and cries you make. Don't answer that, it's not a question. In the spring, when the tomatoes first blossom and you walk out and discover them, you call out with joy, and that's similar but it's definitely not the kind of call you make when we start exploring each other, once again. I know you better than I know anything else, and still it's just as blood-stirring as the first time, how can that be? You like that spot, eh?"

Ginny's reply was hoarse and had no consonants. Myra was tracing Ginny's ribs like a switchback path up her chest, from the side to the sternum and back, until she reached each breast and could cup it in her hands, teasing at Ginny's areola with her thumb, before returning to her point of origin. On the second survey, she kept going, sliding her hands down Ginny's thigh folds on either side and pulling Ginny's lips gently apart, but not visiting the territory she exposed.

Ginny's ass, and most of her weight, was increasingly resting on Myra's thighs. Myra's quadriceps were beginning to tingle. Myra tilted them both forward, to keep her balance, and Ginny pushed her cheek against the glass wall, her breath making a shape like a cartoon speech balloon in front of her. She slid her own hands into her overalls, resting them on Myra's wrists, where they trembled, at times squeezing the back of Myra's hands.

Myra now put both of her hands into Ginny's drenched thatch, moving up and down slowly and confidently. Ginny yelled something incoherent and rested her forehead against the glass wall. Myra's left quadriceps was beginning to burn from the strain. She refused to let it alter their timetable, Ginny's current. She missed seeing Ginny's face, but every other part of Ginny's body was conveying information to her, she felt. She kept them tilted forward to rest against the wall and added her thumb to the movement of her fingers.

Ginny came a minute later, her thighs convulsing over Myra's as a brief warning before the shift in her cries, now guttural and imploring. Myra was becoming a little dizzy from the mixture of muscle strain and her desire. When Ginny removed her own hands from the overalls and pushed them flat against the glass, trying to regain her footing, Myra allowed her, moving back and upright in a motion which revealed her knees were spasming.

Ginny turned around and began kissing her passionately. Myra kept her eyes open -- if she closed them, she was afraid she'd fall. Ginny lifted Myra's right hand and sucked her first two fingers clean, her eyes almost indigo, her grin heart-stopping. She unfastened the bib of her overalls and stepped out of them. "Lie down on my daybed" she said to Myra. Myra was thrilled to comply.

Later, as they lay cuddling under the quilt, Myra waiting for her breath to even out, she said "Well...You should wash windows more often, if that's the outfit you choose to wear for it."

Ginny smiled but didn't laugh. After a pause, she said "I have a confession to make. I put this on deliberately."

"What do you mean?"

"You always react to me in overalls. I was -- ready."

Myra pulled back to focus on her, grinning. "You didn't think you could just ask?"

"This was asking, I think we can agree on that. Only, a festive version of posing the question." They began laughing, and thus didn't hear the call of "Hello?" from Sima until she was in the study.

Myra jerked up the quilt. Ginny, at least, still had on her undershirt. Ginny said "We're in here" just as Sima came around the corner. Sima's smile crashed and she instantly looked down at the floor, which displayed Ginny's overalls. She turned and stared into the kitchen, her cheeks going red.

"Oh god, I'm sorry, I didn't think -- "

"Never mind, Sima, we're done." Ginny extricated herself from the quilt as Myra clutched it tightly and walked nonchalantly to her overalls. Stepping back into them, she clicked one shoulder strap shut and said "Let's go in the kitchen, shall we?"

Once they were clear of the room, Myra sat up and began collecting her clothes, still draped in the quilt. Then she realized she wanted to sit in the hot tub for a bit, and set her clothes back on the daybed. Oh, well, Sima had certainly seen her naked before. Just not -- Myra checked her thighs, to make sure there weren't any bite marks. Clear. She went awkwardly to the side door and into the hot tub.

When she got out, she was serene. She grabbed a towel from her study bathroom, dried off, and dressed again. Sima and Ginny were at the dining table, looking at slides of Sima's jewelry and discussing which ones would print best in an forthcoming group artist catalogue. Myra got another glass of hibiscus tea and went to her desk.

A couple of hours later, she returned to the kitchen and interrupted them, asking Sima if she was staying for lunch.

"No, I took the morning off so I could get this ready for the printers, but I have to go back in, I'll grab something on the way" said Sima.

"Before you leave: I've realized I really can rearrange my time, now that parenting is a dwindling demand. I'd like to have a regular date with you, just me and you" said Myra. "I mean, if you're interested."

Sima looked a little wary. "Is there an agenda to this? Do you need to talk about Chris?"

"No. I miss you, is all" said Myra. "At your discretion, pal. Let me know what works for you."

Sima smiled broadly and said "All right. Not every week, but -- I'll call you when I get to the office and can look at my book there."

"Cool" said Myra. Ginny had a thoughtful expression on her face. She jumped in and said "That's a crackin' idea, as Wallace would say. Can you and I return to a more regular connection with each other, too?"

Sima nodded happily. She gathered her albums and papers into her carryall and said "Gotta run. Have run, you two. Or, more fun, I guess I should say."

After she left, Ginny joined Myra in the kitchen and said "What's for lunch?"

"Sandwich for me, I'm going back to my desk. I'm on a streak" said Myra, pulling out bread.

"Maybe you can arrange your times to see Chris for the nights I'm seeing Sima" said Ginny, bending to the vegetable crisper.

"It's up to Chris. Her schedule is tighter than mine."

"She still mad at you?"

"I think so" said Myra, deciding against cheese because she'd had yogurt at breakfast.

"Care to share with me what all is up with you two, or is that privileged information?"

"Privileged" said Myra, distracted by discovering they were almost out of mayonnaise, trying to decide if she could get by on two light swipes or if she wanted to take the time to make more.

Ginny kept slicing tomatoes, offering some to Myra who took it and put it on her barely moist-enough bread. As Myra shredded turkey breast onto the tomato and, with a sigh, reached for Ginny's vinaigrette -- the turkey would be too dry without it -- Ginny put down her knife and said seriously "Myra, do I have anything to worry about?"

"What do you mean?" Myra finally focused on Ginny. "What, Chris? Fuck, not about me and Chris?"

Ginny just looked at her steadily. Myra returned the gaze and said, as calmly as she could, "Ginny Bates, I'm beginning to wonder what it's going to take for you to believe I'm not looking elsewhere, never have, never will."

"Is there a problem with me seeking reassurance?" returned Ginny.

"Honestly...there's beginning to be" said Myra.

The silence between them seemed to throb inside Myra's head. After a minute, Ginny said "I'll take it to Nancy."

"I'd appreciate that" said Myra. She stepped over and kissed Ginny's cheek. "I can't show you any more than I already do."

"Okay, I get it" said Ginny, returning to her salad making with imperceptibly louder whacks of her knife on the cutting board. Myra stole a few leaves of lettuce for her sandwich, refilled her glass of tea, and walked back to her desk.

© 2008 Maggie Jochild

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